VIII. SULEIKA NAME.

BOOK OF SULEIKA.

ONCE, me thought, in the night hours cold,

That I saw the moon in my sleep;
But as soon as I waken'd, behold

Unawares rose the sun from the deep.

THAT Suleika's love was so strong

For Joseph, need cause no surprise;

He was young, youth pleaseth the eyes,--

He was fair, they say, beyond measure

Fair was she, and so great was their pleasure.
But that thou, who awaitedst me long,
Youthful glances of fire dost throw me,
Soon wilt bless me, thy love now dost show me,
This shall my joyous numbers proclaim,
Thee I for ever Suleika shall name.

                                1815.
-----
HATEM.

NOT occasion makes the thief;

She's the greatest of the whole;
For Love's relics, to my grief,

From my aching heart she stole.

She hath given it to thee,--

All the joy my life had known,
So that, in my poverty,

Life I seek from thee alone.

Yet compassion greets me straight

In the lustre of thine eye,
And I bless my newborn fate,

As within thine arms I lie.

                                1815.
-----
SULEIKA.

THE sun appears! A glorious sight!

The crescent-moon clings round him now.
What could this wondrous pair unite?

How to explain this riddle? How?

HATEM.

May this our joy's foreboder prove!

In it I view myself and thee;
Thou calmest me thy sun, my love,--

Come, my sweet moon, cling thou round me!

                                1815.
-----
LOVE for love, and moments sweet,

Lips returning kiss for kiss,
Word for word, and eyes that meet;

Breath for breath, and bliss for bliss.
Thus at eve, and thus the morrow!

Yet thou feeblest, at my lay,
Ever some half-hidden sorrow;
Could I Joseph's graces borrow,

All thy beauty I'd repay!

                                1815.
-----
HATEM.

O, SAY, 'neath what celestial sign

The day doth lie,
When ne'er again this heart of mine

Away will fly?
And e'en though fled (what thought divine!)

Would near me lie?--
On the soft couch, on whose sweet shrine

My heart near hers will lie!

                                1816.
-----
HATEM.

HOLD me, locks, securely caught

In the circle of her face!
Dear brown serpents, I have nought

To repay this act of grace,

Save a heart whose love ne'er dies,

Throbbing with aye-youthful glow;
For a raging ETA lies

'Neath its veil of mist and snow.

Yonder mountain's stately brow

Thou, like morning beams, dost shame;
Once again feels Hatem now

Spring's soft breath and summer's flame.

One more bumper! Fill the glass;

This last cup I pledge to thee!--
By mine ashes if she pass,

"He consumed," she'll say, "for me."

                                1815.
-----
THE LOVING ONE SPEAKS.

AND wherefore sends not
The horseman-captain
His heralds hither

Each day, unfailing?
Yet hath he horses,
He writes well.

He waiteth Tali,
And Neski knows he
To write with beauty
On silken tablets.
I'd deem him present,
Had I his words.

The sick One will not,

Will not recover
From her sweet sorrow;
She, when she heareth
That her true lover
Grows well, falls sick.

                                1819.*
-----
THE LOVING ONE AGAIN.

WRITES he in Neski,
Faithfully speaks he;
Writes he in Tali,
Joy to give, seeks he:
Writes he in either,
Good!--for he loves!

                                1819.*
-----
THESE tufted branches fair

Observe, my loved one, well!
And see the fruits they bear

In green and prickly shell!

They've hung roll'd up, till now,

Unconsciously and still;
A loosely-waving bough

Doth rock them at its will.

Yet, ripening from within.

The kernel brown swells fast;
It seeks the air to win,

It seeks the sun at last.

With joy it bursts its thrall,

The shell must needs give way.
'Tis thus my numbers fall

Before thy feet, each day.

                                1815.
-----
SULEIKA.

WHAT is by this stir reveal'd?

Doth the East glad tidings bring?
For my heart's deep wounds are heal'd

By his mild and cooling wing.

He the dust with sports doth meet,

And in gentle cloudlets chase;
To the vineleaf's safe retreat

Drives the insects' happy race,

Cools these burning cheeks of mine,

Checks the sun's fierce glow Adam,
Kisses, as he flies, the vine,

Flaunting over hill and plain.

And his whispers soft convey

Thousand greetings from my friend;
Ere these hills own night's dark sway,

Kisses greet me, without end.

Thus canst thou still onward go,

Serving friend and mourner too!
There, where lofty ramparts glow,

Soon the loved one shall I view.

Ah, what makes the heart's truth known,--

Love's sweet breath,--a newborn life,--
Learn I from his mouth alone,

In his breath alone is rife!

                                1815.
-----
THE SUBLIME TYPE.

THE sun, whom Grecians Helms call,

His heavenly path with pride doth tread,
And, to subdue the world's wide all,

Looks round, beneath him, high o'er head.

He sees the fairest goddess pine,

Heaven's child, the daughter of the clouds,--
For her alone he seems to shine;

In trembling grief his form he shrouds,

Careless for all the realms of bliss,--

Her streaming tears more swiftly flow:
For every pearl he gives a kiss,

And changeth into joy her woe.

She gazeth upward fixedly,

And deeply feels his glance of might,
While, stamped with his own effigy,

Each pearl would range itself aright.

Thus wreath'd with bows, with hues thus grac'd,

With gladness beams her face so fair,
While he, to meet her, maketh haste,

And yet, alas! can reach her ne'er.

So, by the harsh decree of Fate,

Thou modest from me, dearest one;
And were I Helms e'en, the Great,

What would avail his chariot-throne?

                                1815.
-----
SULEIKA.

ZEPHYR, for thy humid wing,

Oh, how much I envy thee!
Thou to him canst tidings bring

How our parting saddens me!

In my breast, a yearning still

As thy pinions wave, appears;
Flow'rs and eyes, and wood, and hill

At thy breath are steeped in tears.

Yet thy mild wing gives relief,

Soothes the aching eyelid's pain;
Ah, I else had died for grief,

Him ne'er hoped to see again.

To my love, then, quick repair,

Whisper softly to his heart;
Yet, to give him pain, beware,

Nor my bosom's pangs impart.

Tell him, but in accents coy,

That his love must be my life;
Both, with feelings fraught with joy,

In his presence will be rife.

                                1815.
-----
THE REUNION.

CAN it be! of stars the star,

Do I press thee to my heart?
In the night of distance far,

What deep gulf, what bitter smart!
Yes, 'tis thou, indeed, at last,

Of my joys the partner dear!
Mindful, though, of sorrows past,

I the present needs must fear.

When the still-unfashion'd earth

Lay on God's eternal breast,
He ordain'd its hour of birth,

With creative joy possess'd.
Then a heavy sigh arose,

When He spake the sentence:--"Be!"
And the All, with mighty throes,

Burst into reality.

And when thus was born the light,

Darkness near it fear'd to stay,
And the elements with might

Fled on every side away;
Each on some far-distant trace,

Each with visions wild employ,
Numb, in boundless realm of space,

Harmony and feeling-void.

Dumb was all, all still and dead,

For the first time, God alone!
Then He form'd the morning-red,

Which soon made its kindness known:
It unravelled from the waste,

Bright and glowing harmony,
And once more with love was grac'd

What contended formerly.

And with earnest, noble strife,

Each its own Peculiar sought;
Back to full, unbounded life

Sight and feeling soon were brought.
Wherefore, if 'tis done, explore

How? why give the manner, name?
Allah need create no more,

We his world ourselves can frame.

So, with morning pinions bright,

To thy mouth was I impell'd;
Stamped with thousand seals by night,

Star-clear is the bond fast held.
Paragons on earth are we

Both of grief and joy sublime,
And a second sentence:--"Be!"

Parts us not a second time.

                                1815.
-----
SULEIKA.

WITH what inward joy, sweet lay,

I thy meaning have descried!
Lovingly thou seem'st to say

That I'm ever by his side;

That he ever thinks of me,

That he to the absent gives
All his love's sweet ecstasy,

While for him alone she lives.

Yes, the mirror which reveals

Thee, my loved one, is my breast;
This the bosom, where thy seals

Endless kisses have impress'd.

Numbers sweet, unsullied truth,

Chain me down in sympathy!
Love's embodied radiant youth,

In the garb of poesy!

                                1819.*
-----
IN thousand forms mayst thou attempt surprise,

Yet, all-beloved-one, straight know I thee;
Thou mayst with magic veils thy face disguise,

And yet, all-present-one, straight know I thee.

Upon the cypress' purest, youthful bud,

All-beauteous-growing-one, straight know I thee;
In the canal's unsullied, living flood,

All-captivating-one, well know I thee.

When spreads the water-column, rising proud,

All-sportive one, how gladly know I thee;
When, e'en in forming, is transform'd the cloud,

All-figure-changing-one, there know I thee.

Veil in the meadow-carpet's flowery charms,

All-checkered-starry-fair-one, know I thee;
And if a plant extend its thousand arms,

O, all-embracing-one, there know I thee.

When on the mount is kindled morn's sweet light,

Straightway, all-gladdening-one, salute I thee,
The arch of heaven o'er head grows pure and bright,--

All-heart-expanding-one, then breathe I thee.

That which my inward, outward sense proclaims,

Thou all-instructing-one, I know through thee;
And if I utter Allah's hundred names,

A name with each one echoes, meant for thee.

                                1819.*

 

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